Fresh bid to demolish 200-year-old former Ely care home and replace it with nine luxury flats
- Credit: Archant
A bid to demolish a 200 year-old former care home and replace it with nine luxury flats is before East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Bought at auction for £600,000 by a Stretham farming family, the proposals are said to have won support from neighbours at two consultation meetings.
Ely Design Group has drawn up the plans on behalf of F C Palmer and says they have received “overwhelming support” from the public.
“The replacement building, and the landscaping enhancements, will enhance the appearance of the conservation area,” said a company spokesman.
“Allowing for the statutory approval period and a 12-month construction phase means purchasers can look forward to moving in to their new apartments in autumn 2019.”
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A bid some years ago by McCarthy & Stone to develop the site was refused for overdevelopment, lack of affordable housing and protection of biodiversity.
Ely Design first put forward the idea of nine flats last year but withdrew the application following talks with planning officers.
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Their refreshed application has now been subject to two consultation meetings, the most recent last month attracting 35 people.
“Everyone who attended was supportive and thought it improved the gardens greatly both front and back,” says Ely Design in their proposals to planners.
“As always parking was discussed and the fact parking is at the rear was greatly appreciated.”
The history of Croylands is linked to the cathedral and is the only example of the Queen Anne Revival style in Ely and was designed by the celebrated architect William Timbrell Price.
Ely Design, however, says it is not listed and quotes a conservation officer as saying “it is not a suitable candidate for listing”. The applicants are relying on a report by planners that noted that a heritage asset is formed not only by the building “but also by its setting in relative spacious grounds”.
Ely Design says: “This proposal maintains the setting, albeit with a replacement building. The conservation area will be enhanced as the new building and its landscape and managed grounds will replace what has become somewhat rundown and neglected.”
Local residents will now get the opportunity to offer their views prior to the planning committee meeting this summer to determine the application.
One neighbour, county and district councillor Bill Hunt has criticised previous schemes for the site and attended the January consultation meeting. Ely Design says both he and Councillor Anna Bailey “attended but passed no comment either way”.